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Religions of the World Final Questions
Terms in this set (18)
1. What is ultimate reality for Confucians and Daoists? How do they understand that they ought to live? What is the ultimate purpose for humans, according to Confucianism and Daoism
They live with an organismic world view; every component of the cosmos belongs to an organic whole; all the parts interact with one another in continuous self-generating process. They also believe filial piety; honoring parents and ancestors. They believe that humanity is a corporal manifestation between ying and yang; no ultimate cause from an almighty God or benevolent creator. Your physical body is an interplay of the two; immaterial aspect divided into hun and po- which is constitute of the spirit. The ultimate reality of a Confucian is to learn how to be authentically human, to enact the way of Tian, is the way to improve the human condition and perfect it. Daos engage in exercises and rituals designed to replenish the body and the spirit, making it immortal.
Emphasis on balance, coexistence, and harmony.
natural world isn't a fallen state, no almighty creator, no exact creation.
Confucianism: The ultimate reality is Tian, procreator of the cosmos and all things within it.
Daoism: ultimate reality is Dao; path or way, Mother of the universe,
Why is Confucianism a religious tradition despite its lack of concern for the afterlife?
After death, hun departs; but po settles on the earth alongside of the body. But, both hun and po eventually reconfigure to create future beings.
Compare and contrast the Confucian notion of Tian with the Christian concept of God.
Tian: sky, has a will. Tian works in nature and in the human world which is also known as, Dao or path. This dao or path of Tian provides order and regularity in nature, or ideal ethical-social-political order ordained by Tian for human beings. Dao antedates Tian and acts as the basis of the natural order. Dao give birth like a mother to myriad things, and serves as the primal source of the cosmos, and as the procreator of the entire universe and everything in it.
*communicates with chosen individuals
What is the Shinto version of creation?
Shinto: the way of the gods or divine way, they have a deep respect for nature. It is an animistic religion, where kami are the objects of nature.
Kami created the world and all that is in it. They are responsible for purity and fertility within the world, and they prefer the world to remain in cleanliness. We must worry about our relationship with kami because that is the only way life is fulfilled. Our job as humanity to take care of it since it is Kami. We are to be extremely sentimental about nature and are moved by its beauty.
Why is the concept of kami so central to Shinto beliefs?
Kami us anything out of the ordinary, awe-inspiring, mysterious, powerful, marvelous, and beyond human control or comprehension. Kami controls the universe around them, and command deep respect. Japanese people organize their life around creation or the turn of the seasons, sun, moon and lightning in their farming.
How does Shinto view death?
After life is viewed as a spirit-deity, eventual integration as part of a collective ancestral spirit. A few decades after death, a persons memorial tablet is thrown away and replaced with a pebble. Collected pebbles from generations of doing this represent the family guardian. Perhaps the souls loses its individuality and becomes part of the guardian spirit. The soul may have multiple that can act independently. Preparations, mourning's, cremation, grave maintenance.
Humans are not evil by nature and therefore do not need to improvement or transcendence. They are a part of nature, no benevolent creator.
What is ultimate reality for Zoroastrians? How do Zoroastrians understand that they ought to live? What is the ultimate purpose for humans, according to Zoroastrians?
To help bring about purification through leading virtuous lives according to teachings, rest in their ethical choices. Represents a bridge from east to west, and like Jewish, Christianity, and Muslims. Monotheism religion. In early forms of the faith, people worshipped a pantheon of Gods representing the elements, aspects of nature, and abstract principles such as justice and obedience. Highest god is a Ahuras, and daevas are what came to be demonic because they chose the "worst purpose" Ahura Mazda is supreme Lord and creates only goodness and should by worshipped by good thoughts, words, and deeds.
Explain Zoroastrian teachings on creation and cosmology.
Ahura Mazda is supreme Lord and creates only goodness and should by worshipped by good thoughts, words, and deeds. He is the only God and he isn't responsible for the evil forces within the world. Vohu Mana brought Zarathrustra into the presence of Ahura Mazda. He created all of creation, and Asha; cosmic order. Seven stages of creation; sky, water, earth, plant, animal, just man, then fire. There will be a triumph of good over evil.
3 phases: creation of the physical world, mixing in the physical world of embodied spirits of evil forces with those of good, and final transformation; cleansing of evil.
Why is fire such an important symbol in Zoroastrianism? In what specific ways does fire play a part in the practice of the religion?
Fire is last stage in creation, linking brilliance with endless light. Prayers are said facing the sun, fire, or other sources representing AM divine light and energy. It is seen as a symbol of purity.
Describe Zoroastrian funeral rites, noting how Zoroastrian teachings relate to practices.
Ethical choices (thoughts, words, deeds) determine fate of the soul in the afterlife, goodness of these must outweigh evil to be saved and live in eternity in heaven. Daena who embodies the individuals ethical qualities appears to the souls after death, if good she is beautiful, if bad, she is ugly. People must cross the Chinvat bridge after death to reach afterlife, it can be easy or difficult.
What are the five pillars of Islam, and how would you describe them?
(1): Faith- belief that there is only one God, Allah, and that God sent Muhammad as his messenger.
(2): Prayer- participate in prayers 5 different times a day, "Salat," before dawn, 12, afternoon, evening, and night time.
(3): Almsgiving- charitable giving based on wealth, "Zakat"
What are the essential principles of belief in the Islamic religion?
Muslims believe that God is the creator and sustainer for the universe, world, and all in it. Muslims believe the elements of the beautiful natural world are signs of God. The qur'an is the source of Gods teachings about the nature of ultimate reality and the nature of the world. Muhammad was a prophet sent to earth by God to be a messenger.
Muslims believe that in an afterlife and day of judgement, when all humans will be judged for their actions. Those who were good will go to paradise, and the others will be cast into the fire.
What important challenges do Muslims face in the modern world? Why do you think Islam has been so stereotyped in North America and the West?
They face so many negative challenges and perceptions held by their nature and way of life. Many times they are viewed as terrorists or extremist, they are labeled with unflattering stereotypes. Americans and others are not aware or educated of their beliefs and ideals and only care to see negative aspects that have occurred previously. They struggle to find the role of religion in private and public life. Another issue is Islamic dress for women.
What is Judaism?
Judaism is a Jewish religion that is referred to as ethical monotheism. This religion believes in the existence of a creator that is God. Benevolence and goodness are reflected in his love for humanity, this is the concept of divine oneness. This is the belief of one divine beings in the universe. There is a divine transcendence presupposes the difference between God and the world. It is the people, institutions/organizations, books, biological descents. The God of Jewish faith is understood not only the source of all created things but also the highest reality a human mind can imagine. They read the torah, and believe that souls are immortal and survive death.
How does Maimonides's approach to both God and Torah differ from that of the mystics? How do his articles of faith compare with Christian theology?
A 12 century philosopher and rabbinic scholar whose codification of Jewish beliefs and religious practice set the standard for both in subsequent centuries. Maimonides distrusted any comparison between humanity and the eternal creator. The mystics believe that they need to reconnect heaven and earth. Maimonides does not believe in this relationship. Also, he believes to remove god from the material world and beyond humanity. Whereas, Mystics believe in the soul longing to be reunited with its creator. The main difference is just the relationship with God and humanity. Lastly, he believes that you can speak in negative terms with God whereas Mystics talk highly with God. Because of all of these differences, that is why the Jewish community rejected Maimonidean Scholasticism. He describe what he believes are the commandments in the torah yet he created a rigid framework of Judaism based off of the 13 articles.
Do the kabbalists really believe that it is possible for human beings to seek union with God or to find the presence of God within oneself?
Mystics belonging to this tradition focus on the emanative powers of God referred to in Hebrew as Sephirot, and on their role within the Godhead as well as within the human personality. They seek unity with God because their belief is in the relationship they still have with God no matter how imperfect they are. They are supposed to interact with God, understand, and influence God. They portray God in human terms. View it as becoming as one with God.
Describe the significance of holidays and ritual in Judaism.
They believe this because of their belief with the "Way of life." Each holiday shows the Jews the way os life and providing more time to better themselves and their relationship with the Lord. Jewish people use a modified lunar calendar, which allow them to celebrate each months appearance of a new moon while are the same time periodically adjusting the lunar year to the solar year. The calendar is presumed to be at the same moment when the world was created. They have Sabbaths or occasions to celebrate when the Jewish community reaffirms its covenant with God. For example, major festivals, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Pesach, and Shavuot. For minor festivals, Hanukkah, Purim, Yom HaShoah. These festivals do not require restrictions on labor, food, or any other activities.
What does the word Zionism refer to, and what role did Theodor Herzl play in promoting Zionist ideas?
A modern day political philosophy that asserts a belief in Jewish national identity and in necessity of resuming national life within the historical land of Israel. It is a poltical philosophy that gives a belief in Jewish national identity and in the necessity of resuming national life within the historical land of Israel. Rabbis and laity for Zionism was the public support to the difference between conservative, reform, and orthodox counterparts in Judaism. It was the feeling of attachment to an ancestral homeland. Theodor rebelled with Jewish intellects against the notion that Jews had no claim to nationhood. It was just another religion. His solution was an established recognized Jewish state and founded the Zioism movement.
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